Tag Archives: moving

High Hopes for the New Year

3 Jan

Anyone who has read my stuff or known me for any length of time know that I don’t do resolutions for the new year. I do resolutions, just not based around what month/day it is. About mid-December I decided to make one of these resolutions, but I haven’t quite had the ability to begin working toward my goals because of moving and finances and so on.

That goal is to buy an item to donate to homeless shelters/food banks every time I go shopping. I know firsthand that people donate more around the holidays. In fact, the Christmas season is enough to keep us stocked for most of the year in things like toys and treats, and we really don’t get too much the rest of the time. While that is great, this is something that we really should work on. Hunger and homelessness are something that are always an issue, not just when it’s cold out (though that is especially awful). Now, the next thing that I have to say might be a little on the unpopular side, but I really have a hard time getting on board for giving toys to kids for Christmas. I’ve also seen firsthand how some parents can afford several gifts, but not as many as they’d like to give so they ask for more. I’ve also seen children who get a “cheap” toy (think off-brand) and they scoff at it and don’t want it. Toys are important but I also think it is important to focus on something other than the commercial aspect of Christmas, and find better ways to teach them giving, caring, and family values.  That is why, when I heard about a program called “Gifts for Grands” I became so excited!

This program focuses on elderly people in nursing homes similar facilities. Think about how sad it can be when family stops coming for these people. The things they want aren’t extravagant, either, but every day necessities like soap and socks. I didn’t hear about it soon enough to be useful, but in the future I’m hoping to focus on giving in this manner.

I’m not here to preach, but I am here to share in knowledge, experience, and growth. I often ask my readers to join in with me on any challenges I do, and this one isn’t any different. I have a short list of things that I hear are really high in demand, so I’m not only buying food, but other daily necessities, too. Socks and tampons/pads are high up there (let that sink in for a moment). Non-perishable foods are always important, too. I have my eye on things like canned green beans and corn, but also things like beans, and even Craisins (just recently discovered and they are so delicious!).

Finally, before I’m finished, I don’t want to reflect back on 2015. I want to talk about 2016, and I have high hopes for this year. I woke up in a wonderful mood, and while I’m looking forward, I always have to give the disclaimer that this is how I feel now. That is the problem with resolutions. We make them with our best intentions, but times and people and situations change, so what is right January 1 might not be right June 1, or even January 2.

My hopes for the new year are to cut down on some debt that I’ve accumulated, and begin saving again. I have my sites set on a new car come the end of next year. I want to make my friendships a priority again (I started this a few months back) and see more of each of the people that I love so dearly. I also hope to finally get that significant other I’ve been pining for, and I think I’ve already taken some positive steps toward getting there. I also want to become more spiritual (for those of you who don’t know it, I’m actually a very spiritual person). I’d like to cook more (how many times have I said that) but I don’t foresee that changing in any less than 3 months. I’d also like to become more active. More hiking this summer, more yoga, and I’d like to pick up something fun like kick-boxing.

Those are my hopes. That is how I’m feeling now (and does it feel nice, indeed!). We’ll see where the year takes me!

Are you going to join me with my donations goals (we can totally co-blog about it!)? Any other ideas of hot commodities to buy? What are your hopes for the coming year? 

Peace of Mind

12 Sep

This weekend I was finally able to visit my father since the news of hiscancer. I was nervous at first, and then frustrated, but I’m really glad I went because even though the news hasn’t changed and progress hasn’t really been made, I have acquired some peace of mind.

The peace of mind came from two things. Two very simple things.

The first thing was something I’ve been contemplating since we found out. Should I or shouldn’t I move back to be with my family? My mom tells me just as frequently as I tell her that I should move back. While it definitely would have some perks, I find it hard to abandon my job and my home here to move back home where I may not find a job in my field. I decided that I would ask my dad, and whatever he said I would do. So I did. I’ll not be moving back. He said that there wasn’t anything I could do, and he loves me of course, but he also is pretty level-headed. And its true. I did spend every second I could with my dad on Thursday, but he was only awake for about 8 hours, so while me being there was nice it isn’t like he is spending 16 hours awake alone.

The second thing, which is probably more comforting, is what he said to me this morning before he left for a doctors appointment.

I’ll come up to see you soon. We’ll get this thing shrunken and I’ll come up. I’m going to fight this. I’m a fighter, Annie.

To see that fight still left in my dad was everything I could have asked for. Even if the treatment renders him unable to actually visit me, knowing that he hasn’t given up and wants to win his battle with cancer makes it all okay. And even if we all feel completely defeated right now, he gives me hope.

Living in the Mountains

31 Jan

I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t really experienced real “mountain living”, at least not yet.

The closest I’ve experienced is driving 25 mph up curvy canyon roads, just to get home and possibly be snowed in today. And that whole not sure if driving back into town is worth the money it costs in gas. Granted, if someone asked me right now, or even any night, to come hang out with them I would most likely head that way immediately.

I haven’t actually been snowed in yet, or had anything major happen, but my most recent move has brought about a few minor issues. First, there is the land line. Each time I pick up the phone I have to consciously think about if what I want to say to someone is worth calling them for. I can’t just send off a text. The phone that came with the apartment is a corded phone, to boot, but I might have to fix that sooner rather than later. And no one calls me. Ever. Really, its quite sad.

And then there is the water. It’s well water, and while I haven’t had it run out on me yet, each time I take a shower I worry that the water pressure won’t be enough to properly rinse my hair, so I end up towling my hair before I even finish the rest of my shower. I constantly think about what water-consuming tasks I need to do, and how much water I need for each, so that I don’t simultaneously run water for a load of dishes, put a load of laundry in, and then hop in the shower only to run out of water.

Speaking of dishes, that whole kitchen appliance thing is really kicking my butt. I have no dishwasher, and somehow my single existence seems to create just as many dishes as a family of 4. I’ve been keeping up, but damn! Then, just this morning, I found a whole new issue that I knew about, but when I realized what I was doing it was already too late.

Not only do I not have a dishwasher, but I don’t have a microwave or a toaster either (in my defense, my parents are storing them and I should have them next week). All morning I was looking forward to a nice bowl of Cream of Wheat, so when I got to the kitchen and realized I had to make it on the stove, I was exasperated. I’ve never had to do that before, and of course, I boiled over the milk, which I now have to go clean up. With every bowl of Cream of Wheat, I always make two pieces of toast. Toast. No toaster. That was another hard blow.

But I made my toast. On the stove. Kinda like grilled cheese.

So what would normally have taken a microwave-safe bowl, a plate to put toast on, a knife to put butter on the toast, and a spoon to eat my Cream of Wheat with took a pot, a skillet, two cooking spoons, a spatula, a bowl, a plate, a spoon, and a knife. And the cleaning supplies to clean up my boiled-over milk.

Yes, this entire post was about me whining about having to make Cream of Wheat on the stove.

What generally taken-for-granted items do you regularly go without? What’s the proper way to toast bread without a toaster? What was the last time you can remember not having something you rely on greatly, and how did you deal with it?

Life Update: Back to Blogging

19 Jan

It’s been so long, hasn’t it? Well, let me tell you what you’ve missed while I’ve been gone.

First, let me tell you the story.

On Tuesday, August 13, 2013 I came home after work and was greeted by the smell of feces. Having two cats and a dog, I immediately began looking for the source of the smell. I looked under things, behind things, checked the litter boxes, but unfortunately my sense of smell is poor, and soon enough I couldn’t use my nose to track the scent, nor did I find anything. Frustrated, I dismissed it. The next day I brought a coworker over to hang out for a spell, and asked her if she could smell it. She said she could, but it was faint, and that it smelled musty. On Thursday, I came home and my house smelled like sewage. My first thought went to the pets, but being unable to find anything, I checked the downstairs and upstairs bathrooms. Nothing. Again, I wasn’t able to smell anything else, and while I was concerned, I began making dinner.

When I was almost finished, I started to become aware of the fact that there was a really large number of flies in my house, and not the normal kind – they were the large, iridescent ones that are usually associated with death and really gross things. I tried not to let my thoughts consume me, but I was suddenly made conscious of the fact that I hadn’t seen any sign of my new roommate in over a week. It was at that moment that I completely freaked out and had to leave. I almost ran out of the house.

I texted a female friend, who I knew had been ice skating with most of our other friends, but no response. Frantic, I called her – again, nothing. Trying to figure out where to go, I grabbed my food and decided to sit in the car, and maybe call a male acquaintance of mine in desperation. As I got into my car, I finally received the text from the friend saying I could go to her house.

When I got there, the only thing I said was I think my roommate is dead. Like I assumed her, her boyfriend, and our other friend all thought I was crazy. I started telling them the signs – the weird smells, the flies, not seeing him for over a week. They dismissed them, and talked me down, which in that moment was really what I was looking for…honestly, people’s roommates don’t randomly die, right? The flies were due to recent spraying for mosquitoes, I didn’t check my landlord’s bathroom for the source of the sewage smell, roommate has a girlfriend…all things that make sense. It was enough to get me to go home, because it did make sense, and of all things, I know the smell of death and my dog hadn’t paid any attention to it, so why should I?

I got home, opened the door, and it smelled faintly of death. Not enough to know absolutely that it was death and not mustiness, but again…these things don’t happen to people.

The next morning, Friday, I woke up and went through my normal routine. As I was watching TV, about to leave for work, I hear my dog whine, and paw at my roommates door upstairs. While I was still in denial, I knew. I yelled for my cats and dogs to go downstairs, and tried to muster as much courage as I could. I couldn’t even make it all the way up the stairs. I reached, and gave three brief knocks, before bolting back downstairs and leaving to work. When I told my girl friend, she said her and our guy friend would come over after dinner and come investigate. I agreed, not knowing what to expect when I got off work.

I didn’t even have to open the door after work to smell the overwhelming smell of death. I let my dog out, stayed in the back yard, then kenneled him and went to dinner. At dinner, my friend bought me a dead guy ale, just for kicks. We laughed and made jokes, and eventually made our way to a bar. After a few drinks, it was time. When I got home, I couldn’t even be inside. I went out to the backyard and waited for them to arrive. When they got there, they finally admitted that I might actually have a problem. They knocked and called out and knocked some more, but my roommate didn’t reply. When we tried to open the door, it was locked. I thank the stars for that every day. We tried as many keys as I could find, but to no avail.

I called the cops (after much coaxing), and the dispatcher said to wait outside until they got there. The first cop to go inside immediately knew and acknowledged what was:

Yup.

It was the wee hours of the morning on August 17, 2013 when they found him. They had to break down the door, and he was in the worst point of decomposition – 7 to 9 days after death. We were all interviewed, and the detectives couldn’t wrap their head around why I didn’t find him sooner.

He moved in on August 3, after finding our house on  Craigslist. I had spoken no more than 3 times to him. I thought he had a girlfriend, and was out with her frequently. He didn’t have a car, so I never knew when he was home or not unless I saw him. How was I supposed to know?

Then we had pancakes. At 4:30 in the morning, thanks to two wonderful friends, one of which even went to go get milk. At 6:30 in the morning, while I was trying to go to sleep at my girl friends house (we all had a sleep-over), I texted my supervisor that I wouldn’t be in the next day, also after much coaxing by my friends.

I stayed with her for a week, but due to her mother’s arrival, I had to find shelter elsewhere. I spent the night at the male acquaintances house (who bought be the dead guy ale), and went to my parents to take my pets for the next two days. I came back, and actually stayed with him up until 3 nights ago. I slept on an air mattress for the first week, then my girl friend and her boyfriend gave us their old mattress, so I started sleeping on that.

Only a  few days later, a Tuesday in fact, the male acquaintance who had been so supportive (henceforth known as Fella), and I started dating. He is the most wonderful, tender, masculine man I have ever met and I can’t say that I’ve found anyone who can match how amazing he is. I had had a thing for him since June (at least set in stone – even the first time I saw him, I was smitten), and I had all but given up on the thought of us ever dating.

Our first weekend we were together (I took my vacation a week after we started dating), we almost took another camping trip to Crystal Mill where I had just been. I really wanted to, but we decided to go drive and check out the changing Aspen’s instead. It was great, and we parked at the top of the pass and ate lunch, and Fella got to watch me fall not once, but twice down the mountain side as I tried to take pictures in the snow.

We dated for about a month and a half, before telling all of ours friends. Most everyone knew, on at least some level, and expected it of us. After that, things got increasingly more complicated, and there were several times when I actually questioned the decision to tell anyone about us. I don’t like to announce things anyway, but oh well.

Then, one Sunday morning two and a half months after Fella and I started dating, he called it off over pancakes. I don’t want to get into the break-up as much, but I understood and really, there wasn’t anything I could do. He was still nothing short of amazing, which made it all that much harder to get over him. On my first day back to work after that weekend, my back windshield suddenly shattered and collapsed into my car.

As if things weren’t bad enough.

Things got so rough for the next two weeks, and then one day, I realized that we still should be friends, and that if I could still live with him, I was fine with that. We are still really great friends, and he is so supportive. One must always remember – have low expectations, but high hopes. That way you can work toward a goal, but if things don’t work out, you won’t be let down.

In the midst of all of that, I went back to the house to feed my chinchillas, and found that my snake was missing out of her Terrarium. I looked everywhere, but couldn’t find any sign of her. This was right before I took my trip in September, and I didn’t really have the time to look.

A while later, I came to do the same thing, and I found Pandora, my lady chinchilla, dead in her cage. I was heartbroken. It was this day that I found my snake, randomly, just laying in front of my bedroom door. A  few days later, I found my male chin, Hesiod, dead as well. And not too long after, my snake also passed. The only thing I can gather is that due to everything that had happened, they fell ill with an upper respiratory infection, or something similar, and I was unable to notice because of my absence.

And that’s the story. The abridged version, kind of. Then, there’s the here and “now”.

Up until the first of December, I was planning on moving back into the house that I had been living in. A lot of work needed done on it, and after months of fighting with the insurance company, they finally settled with my landlord to pay 50,000 dollars for repairs. My landlord set my move [back] in date as mid-December.

Yes!

And then I found out she was thinking of selling it. That was when I started looking for a new place to live, and not terribly long ago, I found this little gem of a place in the mountains (I live in Colorado, remember?). It made it really difficult because even though I no longer had my snake or chinchillas, I still had a dog that needed a yard, and two cats.

While I was looking for a place to live, I was also dealing with career upsettings. All of these things I am talking about – breakups, landlord selling the house, looking for a place to live, career changes, dying pets – are all happening at the same time. The only good thing that came from my roommate dying was Fella, and when that ended, there was nothing good to hang my hat on. I was down and out, and very bitter. I’m still being jerked around at my job, and I don’t know where I will be in even a month. I was trying to do behavior, and then supervisor, and now I don’t know what’s going to happen with it all.

But I did find somewhere to live. The place I found is nestled in the canyon, with the river running through it, placed on 23 acres, 2 of which are fenced. I can live alone and afford it. 

I started moving in last Sunday, and spent my first night here last Friday. I chose this weekend mainly because of the prorated rent, but also because I went to the hot springs for a few days and wanted to deal with it after.

To make everything more difficult still, I fell down some rock steps at the springs, and messed up both feet and ankles. All my toes are bruised, my weight-bearing foot has a sprained/bruised ankle, and my non weight-bearing foot has a huge lump that wraps all the way around the outer portion, and is incredibly bruised. It’s gotten better, but I’m still not back to 100%. That night, I had to climb up the side of the mountain back to the cabin in the snow. It was so incredibly painful, and I wanted nothing more than to be carried, but I had to buck up. I didn’t want to be that girl, so as much as I wanted to cry, I held it back until I was alone. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go back to the springs when everyone else did because of my ankle. Another girl friend stayed with me, and we played cards until everyone got back.

When we got back, I started moving, hurt feet and all. And while it’s been physically difficult, it has also been the most emotionally charged move I have ever made, other than the one when I moved from my family to go to college.

Really, living with Fella has been the easiest living situation I’ve ever had. I was happy, but I couldn’t just abandon my pets – I love them! I had no choice but to move out, and not only to I dislike change, but I dislike giving up happiness for the unknown. I live 30 minutes away from all but one friend, have no cell service here, and am genuinely worried that I will become alone and isolated. It hasn’t been bad, but going from seeing someone every night, who cooks amazing food for you, and always has good conversation to living alone again is difficult. I don’t know if I have spoken a single word out loud all day.

The unpacking process hasn’t been easy. Luckily enough, the workers who have been tearing up the house packed up all my stuff. Unfortunately, the basement flooded and some of it got wet/ruined. And then there is the dead roommate that is on all of my stuff. Everything I unpack has to be disinfected. I got a new mattress to help combat that and luckily enough (ish), I don’t have to worry about a couch, but I have had to wash every single article of clothing that I own. It’s been at least 6 or 7 loads of laundry, and I’m still not done with it.

But, I will have my cats and dog back in probably about 2 weeks, maybe 3. This summer, I can host awesome barbecues and we can hang out on the beach and swim in the river. I don’t have to worry about roommates. This basement apartment is pretty big, and open, and new. I literally live over the river and through the woods.

And probably the most exciting part – redecorating. I have big plans, and so many of them are DIY that once I get things settled, I will still have plenty to do.

And now that I’ve updated you, please look forward to a normal number of blogs from me. I apologize that I’ve been so absent. As you can tell, it’s been a roller coaster.

The Idea of Moving

13 Oct

Originally, moving was not in my game plan. Even still I’m a little reluctant.

The house I live in now kind of fell into my lap. I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxed landlord, but unfortunately I haven’t been living in my house for 7 weeks. Even that hasn’t been a driving factor, and now that I have internet at the place I’m staying, there is pressure to actual go back to reality.

And the reality of it all is that I’m worried that I’ll never be able to get my friends into my house again. I shouldn’t try to appease them, but really…that’s the only reason I have even considered looking for a new place. Everyone thinks its the best idea, and the best thing for me, but all I see is having to move a ton of furniture and stuff, and having to live with strangers and meet people all over again. It’s overwhelming, really…and now, more than ever, I worry about roommates.

If I could find a 1 bedroom house with a yard that accepts pets in my price range, I would jump on it. But that’s so, so hard to find.

What would you do? Should I appease my friends and move, or should I stick to my guns and tell them to get over it?

The Roommate Chronicles: Round 3

5 Aug

I’ve officially reached round three of roommates.

The first guys moved out, then I got in 3 new roommates: The J’s (all of their names began with J). Soon enough, however, the last of those 3 will have moved out, and the first new roommate has already moved in.

I don’t know if I’ll be continuing with the chronicling of my ventures; the reason I stopped is actually because one of the J’s was a good friend of mine, so she wasn’t including in the stranger aspect of the series. And the other J had originally added me on Facebook, which is not only weird but prompted me to stop writing.

If there is one thing I’ve learned since living with strangers, is that it isn’t that bad, at least in my situation. My landlord is really good about working with people’s needs, so there is a lot of turnover in the house. I find that I prefer it that way, too. We all get to lead our separate lives, and I don’t have to put up with anyone that I dislike for too long of a period of time.

Let’s hope things continue in that manner.

It’s also nice that the roof over my head doesn’t depend on if I have a roommate, or if that roommate paid their rent and utilities on time.

Ever experienced a high-turnover roommate situation? How did you like it? Ever live with strangers, or any desire to?